There are a lot of places in Brisbane that I always intend to visit, without ever managing it. One of those places is The Queensland Maritime Museum located in South Bank along the Brisbane River. Had I known how much it had to offer I would have gone earlier.
It is surprising how much there is to see at the museum. My one-hour trip stretched to four – so pleasantly that I didn’t notice the time pass.
All of the space is utilised. There are a vast array of vessels and sea-related items in the outdoor area: a lighthouse, massive motors, and a tiny nine-foot yacht that I would not want to cross the Brisbane River in, but that crossed the Coral Sea with a lone passenger. Jessica Watson’s boat, Pink Lady, has a home in the museum.
The volunteers are a wonderful asset. They are plentiful and informative. They have in-depth knowledge of the museum’s collection, how the vessels worked, and their place in maritime history.
The jewel of the collection is the World War II era Royal Australian Navy frigate, the Diamantina. Much of this 91 metre long vessel is open to visitors—this allows visitors a chance to see what life was like for the members of the Royal Navy. From the comparatively lavish upper decks, cramped quarters of the middle decks and uncomfortable looking hammocks of the lower decks; life on the anti-submarine vessel is laid bare. There are a lot of narrow staircases so comfortable shoes and shorts are advisable.
Right on the edge of South Bank, the Queensland Maritime Museum is a marvellous way to spend an afternoon, and definitely a place that I’ll revisit.